German literature

German authors
  • Angelus Silesius
  • Heinrich Böll
  • Bertolt Brecht
  • Karl Georg Büchner
  • Hans Magnus Enzensberger
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Günter Grass
  • Brothers Grimm
  • Hans von Grimmelshausen
  • Peter Handke
  • Gerhart Hauptmann
  • Heinrich Heine
  • Heinrich der Glïchezäre
  • Johann Gottfried von Herder
  • Hermann Hesse
  • Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann
  • Friedrich Hölderlin
  • Uwe Johnson
  • Siegfried Lenz
  • Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
  • Thomas Mann
  • Robert Musil
  • Novalis
  • Jean Paul Richter
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling
  • Friedrich von Schiller
  • Arthur Schnitzler
  • Georg Trakl
  • Frank Wedekind
  • Christa Wolf

Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann (1776-1822)

This German writer and composer is one of the most representative figures of the German Romantic movement, known especially for his uncanny and suspense stories.

Born in Königsberg, East Prussia, he studied Law at the University of Königsberg, and then practiced for a short while before focusing on painting and musical critique and composition. His third name is a result of his passion for music, which he took on as a tribute to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

In his fictional writings he blends grotesque and supernatural elements with a powerful psychological realism; his most famous stories are probably those that Jacques Offenbach based his opera The Tales of Hoffmann (1880) on.

Many of his most popular stories are contained in the book Fantasy Pieces (1814-1815), which also contains a collection of critical music reviews and his own illustrations. Another of his more famous writings is the novel The Devil's Elixir (1815-1816), famous for its use of a doppelgänger, ('double') character.